Lets just pause for a second. Isn’t our street beautiful this time of year? (Mad photog props to Fab for snapping the above gem). Our apartment may be winter ready and decorated for Christmas, but the rest of America still has fall and Thanksgiving to savor. Last month we hosted Canadian Thanksgiving which was such a hit (and left us with the most amazing left overs) that we opened our house once again to our family-less friends who were sticking around the city for the holidays. We were so thankful to share the day with some of our best people. Now all that needs to happen to make this past weekend a recurrent theme is for Justin to ditch Chicago, and for Aaron to move back ASAP (thanks for understanding guys).
I switched up the menu a little to try some new things, but also stuck with our tide and true favorites. Again, we kept things as vegan/Gluten-free/Paleo as possible with a few exceptions to the rule. It is a holiday after all and we need to live a little. The first of our festive eats is our Homemade Curried Hummus, which is no exception to any rule and pretty much free of everything. The subsequent menu fed a plethora of hungry millennials with left overs to spare. So, from our home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Continue reading “American Thanksgiving: Homemade Curried Hummus”
It is almost the 1 year anniversary since we set out on our Trans America road trip from our little island hometown to New York City. A week doesn’t go by that Jay and I don’t talk about the time we packed all we could fit into the back of a crossover and set out across country. So far it has been one of the best adventures of our young lives. I chronicled the entire adventure on the blog, and all those posts were and actually still is the most viewed entries on the Jordan Project. They are still being pinned again and again on a daily basis. I keep getting asked to map out the route we took to get ourselves across this great nation. So in honor of the requests and in encouragement that everyone really, really should take this trip here is the route we planned.
Before leaving we fielded comment after comment about how fun it will be to take it as it comes and stop where the wind takes us. Clearly these people under estimated my sheer level of A-type personality and the utter thrill I get in planning. Every detail was accounted for. I had mapped our route 10 months before we left, researched and booked the perfect hotel in each location and even devised an itemized list of where to eat and what to see (including a route on how to maximize our time in each spot so we could do and taste it all). Here is the result of my madness. It was sheer, perfect bliss. 12 days of bliss. Continue reading “Trans America Road Trip Route”
It’s fall in the city, and it is chilly outside. So inside we Jordan’s are keeping it warm and cozy. Butternut Squash soup my favorite soup, and one of the best ways to stay toasty. For the longest time I never attempted it on my own because I had written it off as too complex and time consumptive. My mom also makes a killer butternut soup, that even still mine can’t hold a candle to. Although maybe that is just the sentimentality inside me speaking since I tend to whip up this soup on the days I miss her a little more than usual. Nonetheless, this soup isn’t complicated and is actually pretty efficient to make. A quick chop, boil and purée and you are set to serve. Enjoy. Continue reading “Sweet Butternut Squash Soup”
Okay, I am going to dwindle down what little coolness points I may have accrued with my next statement. I truly, and deeply love the suburbs. Now, hold on just a moment before you judge me. When I speak of suburbs I don’t mean cookie-cutter developments with a uniform colour scheme, or large mega malls with their box stores clustered together. I mean the small, quaint town-type of suburb, like the one I grew up in in Victoria, B.C. The type of community that has retained it’s heritage charm, that has an interconnected feel and sanctions miles of park land for public use. That is the type of suburb that I love. So yes, give me open streets, single family homes with freshly cut lawns and grocery stories with aisles big enough that I am not crawling over my fellow patrons to snag a cantaloupe. I will take them, uncoolness and all.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is no way a testament to my distaste for our current urban lifestyle because I love the city for exactly the opposite reasons I stated above. I guess my little indecisive heart would like to just have it all. So that is why yesterday when Jay was done work early but still had a car we decided to get out of town and explore the colours, charm and fresh air that can be found in Scardsdale, just 30 minutes north of the city. Scarsdale is picturesque, with ivy covered bridges, prewar homes, large lakes and a brick and mortar style main strip that is filled with local and artisan shops. These small town attributes reminded me so much of our hometown. Our first venture in the ‘burbs was a stop at a real grocery store. Upon which I lept from the vehicle and spun in a circle declaring “Look at me, I’m not touching a single person”, which doubled Jay over in laughter and warranted me a few sideways glances. However, after nearly 3 months in the city it was nice to have some space to stretch out, as we appreciated a different setting for a few hours. On whole we loved the town, and with it being so close to the city I would suggest that is worth the visit if you have the time during your exploration of New York City. If it captures your heart as much as ours, and you like it enough to call it home, you would wind up with David Letterman living near by but you would also need an extra $20,000 to spend in property taxes per year. Ouch.
We were incredibly blessed to be invaded by family the past week and a half straight. Our first visitor, my beautiful mom, came for a week which wasn’t nearly long enough. In the span of days we fit what could easily have filled weeks, and afterward we (with watery eyes) tucked her into her cab with sore feet and a full heart. It did both her and I good to explore mine and Jay’s new home together as we ventured into the heart of the city in hunt of exquisite shopping, good food and new running trails. I could not ask for a better excuse to be a tourist than her.
Then the evening after we waved good bye to mom, my dad, Peter, arrived. His entrance into the city was eventful with a less than ideal foray into the Bronx, complete with unhelpful misdirections from locals amidst the bombarding, cacophony of rush hour traffic. However, after his unwanted adventure we at last laid eyes on him and settled him into our apartment, turning him into our second excuse to explore the city a little further.
I should have been studying for midterms, and I should have been completing my literature review but instead I paused and tried my best to balance my demands with soaking in family and our city. In the midst of it all my little heart was filled to overflowing as both my parents assured me just how wholly proud of me they are and how excited they were for what waits us in the coming year as we plant roots in this crazy, overwhelmingly wonderful city. Below are some of our highlights, and suggestions for must do NYC tourist activities that make every study break that much more invigorating. Continue reading “Playing Tourist: Things to do in New York”
First and foremost sorry for the delay. It has been a whirlwind since we arrived in Manhattan full of learing how to navigate, toiling (unsuccessfully) to get american cell phones and meeting the incredible people I will be spending my next two years with. So that hasn’t left me much time to blog and I promise an introduction to our new home and manhattan lifestyle is coming. As for now, here is the last installment of our trans-america road trip -Washington D.C.! The capitol was a city that had a comfortable homeyness to it. Perhaps it was the heritage architecture of Georgetown or the plentiful local eateries and boutiques dotting the streets-cape that was reminiscent of our hometown of Victoria B.C. Nonetheless we ate our fill and filled our brains with all the history and wealth this vast, diverse country has to offer. Continue reading “Meals and Monuments in D.C.”
If Salt Lake City isn’t in your to visit list stop reading and go add it. Jay and I fell completely in love with the desert heat, friendly people, clean streets and crisp architecture that SLC had to offer.
We cruised into the city with country music blaring (because when in the southwest do as southerns do) on a Sunday afternoon and stayed in the Temple Square area. With the high Mormon population in SLC we arrived to find the entire city was more or less closed. I am talking even H&M and Macy’s close their doors on Sundays and if a store goes against the grain like Starbucks it’s closed by 7pm. We have no complaints though. The streets were vacant and the downtown core was quiet which left a lovely, peaceful feel to the city and we can’t help but be in total awe of a city that is so ardently committed to their beliefs that even mega stores that move into the area have to abide by the status quo. Even with very little open we managed to have a whole lot of fun. So here are our top highlights for Salt Lake…
Continue reading “Salt Lake City”
After leaving my Canadian cell phone at the T mobile in Portland and the ensuing 2 hour delay we arrived in Boise late last night. Our minor detour meant we didn’t have much time to explore the town other than a quick drive through the cute, well kept bustling downtown core before we settled into our hotel for the night.
This morning the heat was up around 18 degrees ( or 66 degrees as I need to get used to thinking of it) before the sun was even fully overhead. Jay and I quickly realized we’d officially left our familiar Pacific Northwest landscape and climate behind and had begun our trek through the beginning of the southwest desert. We naively attempted a workout in a none air conditioned gym but lasted all of 15 minutes (thank you crossfit for being quick and efficient) due to the heat.
The Idaho landscape is surprisingly pretty. I haven’t even picked up my book yet on the trip because the view out my window is so captivating. Idaho is seeded with quaint small towns, rolling fields and bursting sandstorms. I know dry, open space can be thought of as dull but I have loved all the kitschy farm houses surrounded by lazy dairy cows and grungy work trucks that dot the interstate. That is about the extent of our brief and rather uneventful stop over in Idaho.
Now we are off to explore Utah and the Great Salt Lake before we arrive in Salt Lake.
Well, after deferring for a year and 18 months of planning later Jay and I are off to Manhattan to tackle bustle of the big city, the challenges of being a Columbia University grad student and this big American life.
The past few weeks have been a mix of extreme, uncontrollable excitement at the new adventure and the fulfillment of a number of dreams we thought were too big to even dream, as well as a healthy dose of nerves, heart aching goodbyes and a plethora of shed tears. Through it all we have been so overwhelmed and awed by the outpouring of love from our family and friends. The ceaseless show of support and encouragement has left us with such a sense of thankfulness that I don’t think we will ever be able to fully express.
So after a chaotic few weeks of last minute planning, we left our cozy, west coast island town of Victoria and arrived in Portland Oregon the same evening. We only have a limited amount of time, and a lot on our PDX to do list before we set out to Idaho the very next morning. So this is the highlights of our time and our top to do list of things to do and see if you only have brief moments to explore the Portland Area: Continue reading “16 hours in Portland”